ROCKY RIVER, OH (WOIO) - Police on the west side are warning people about an increase in tire and wheel thefts happening in people's driveways.
"It just takes a jack that one person can carry to lift the car and a lug wrench and you can probably have wheels off in a matter of minutes. It's not noisy," said Rocky River Police Lt. George Lichman.
Lichman said two cases happened in Rocky River overnight Sunday into Monday. Someone stole two wheels off a Honda on the 22200 block of Bartlett Drive. All four wheels were stolen off a Honda in the 2600 block of Carmen Drive. Both homes sit on dead end streets.
"They're opportune places for a more involved crime to happen," said Lt. Lichman.
A crime also happened in Bay Village June 13 around 1 a.m. on Normandy Road. The owner told police all four wheels were taken off his 2014 Honda Accord Sport.
The victim said he woke up when he heard his dog barking at something outside. When he got out of bed to look, he saw a dark-colored vehicle in his driveway. He initially assumed the car was turning around, but later found his car sitting on blocks. The value of the theft is estimated around $1,300.
Lt. Lichman said there are a few steps people can take to keep this from happening to them:
- Park your car in a garage.
- Leave lights on outside overnight.
- Get locking lug nuts for your wheels.
- Make sure your car is locked with the alarm on.
"If a car is jolted or lifted it'll trigger the alarm, which will bring attention to the area," Lichman said.
Police believe the crimes are connected. They don't have a suspect or vehicle description, but they believe the getaway car is a bigger vehicle, like a truck or an SUV, that can haul at least four tires.
Police say tire and wheel thefts off Honda vehicles are increasing at an alarming rate. The wheels are reportedly very expensive to replace and thieves get thousands of dollars for them on the black market.
If you have any information give police a call.